Paul Ridout, Managing Director (the 'Expert') of Ridouts Professional Services PLC has written an article, sharing his wisdom to care home providers of how to manage the 'Relative from Hell'.
I personally find this article insulting to families, and it does nothing to encourage providers to receive and resolve concerns more effectively, or to show more compassion and support to families.
What it does show is the attitude and bullying culture of the toxic care home sector.
Mr Rideout states this advice is to help with 'unruly resident family members'. However, as many know, this is how innocent families are often portrayed, in order for care homes to ban them. There is no way to prove the provider has lied, and the decision remains unchallenged, whilst families are torn apart, and lives destroyed. Never underestimate the lengths providers will go to cover up failings, protect their job and the income of the home.
I am not saying all families are angels, but here at Your Voice Matters we know of many innocent, loving families who have been bullied by lying care home providers. After our ongoing 7 year campaign on unfair bans and evictions, the launch of (Rights 2 Speak Up 4 Care) , the volume of families who had contacted other organisations over the years, and more and more cases now coming to light in the national media, it is proven this is not rare. The lid is well and truly off this can of worms, there is no going back, and it is to be expected the sector will look at ways to defend themselves from the truthspeakers.
"It is your home. You have the right to control who comes, who goes and how they behave." (How often do we hear a care home is the resident's home in all the fancy web sites and literature. The above statement is the harsh reality)
"THE RESIDENT. The interests of visitors are not relevant." (As Your Voice Matters have been highlighting since 2010)
"THE VISITOR … has effectively no rights." (As Your Voice Matters campaign which began in 2010. To end unfair bans and evictions and offer protection for residents and their families. Our Parliament event January 2017
"CAMERAS. You may remove cameras."
"THE REGULATOR. CQC cannot force you to permit access against your reasoned management decision." (CQC published their guidelines in 2017, which gave the impression visitors who raise concerns are protected. CQC cannot help you if you find yourself banned or your loved one evicted).
"DO NOT be scared of the disruptive visitor. You are in control." (Care home providers have control and power over residents, families, care staff, CQC, Local Authorities and the Government).
"AVOID discussion and stay out of expensive litigation. This should be simple if you have prepared your DIARY and REASONABLE ACTIONS." (Welcome to a world very familiar to many families - diary keeping).
Families all over the UK are forced to keep diaries and evidence to prove their allegations, because they have reported concerns and nothing is done. The only thing they should have to focus on is visiting their loved one and spending quality time with them, not fighting to keep them safe and alive.
The Care Quality Commission and Healthwatch launch the latest initiatives, encouraging families and anyone who witnesses poor care to report it.
Families and care staff have become the Care Home Police, the unpaid Regulator of Care. The result of this is these groups are now viewed as a big threat to failing providers.
Who supports those who report concerns in the aftermath? Certainly not the CQC or Healthwatch. They are isolated, left to fight the system alone, and whilst they are doing that, precious time is lost with their loved one. Time that can never be got back. These will be the lasting memories following the death of their loved one, whilst the provider moves on.
A note from me to care home providers and their representatives:
Instead of looking at ways of how to control people, why don't you try this ....
Stop focusing on maximising your profit margins, and focus on human beings. Invest in your staff, quality training, decent salary, regular supervisions, show you value them. Without them you have no business!
Trained and supported staff = Good Care = Happy cared for resident = Happy families = No need to raise concerns = Happy Manager/Owner.
READ about our campaign to end Unfair Bans and Evictions HERE. Our call for legislation changes at our Parliamentary event in January 2017 was rejected. Another of our proposals to the Government was to introduce a system, where a care home provider would have to make an application to ban or evict any resident. This would then go before a panel. The decision should not be left entirely to the provider, who currently can do exactly as they choose unchallenged.
We have requested a response from Westminster, as to what is being done since our January event to progress a solution. As at 10 November 2017 no response. It seems there is always something more important than the elderly care sector.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!